The most common use for medical Cannabis in the United States is for pain. While cannabis is by some for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is also quite effective for chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. It is clearly safer than opiates it is impossible to overdose on cannabis and some studies have shown it to be non- addictive. (Note: There has never been a documented death from cannabis overdose) and it can take the place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve, as many people can’t take them due to problems with their kidneys or ulcers or GERD.
In particular, cannabis appears to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain in general. This is an area where few other options exist, however there is Neurontin, Lyrica, or even other opiates but they come at the cost of also being highly sedating. Many patients claim that cannabis allows them to resume their previous activities without feeling completely “out of it” and/or “disengaged”.
Along these lines, cannabis can be a fantastic muscle relaxant, and people swear by its ability to lessen tremors in Parkinson’s disease. We have also heard of its use quite successfully for fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and most other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain.
Cannabis is very commonly used to manage nausea and weight loss and can be used to treat glaucoma. A highly promising area of research is its use for PTSD in veterans who are returning from combat zones. Many veterans and their therapists report drastic improvement and clamor for more studies, and for a loosening of governmental restrictions on its study. Medical cannabis is also reported to help patients suffering from pain and wasting syndrome associated with HIV, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
This is not intended to be an inclusive list, but rather to give a brief survey of the types of conditions for which medical cannabis can provide relief. As with all remedies, claims of effectiveness should be critically evaluated and treated with caution.
(Information from the Harvard School for Medicine)